DIVEIN.com’s Complete Guide to:

25 Things do to in Honolulu, Hawaii

Also referred to as the heartbeat of Hawaii, Honolulu is the first place everyone visits when traveling to the island of Oahu. We’re talking nearly 10 million visitors every year. This number is justified by the white sands and blue skies that turn into the prettiest shades of pink and purple when the sun starts to set.

But there’s more to Honolulu than sun-soaked beaches and high-rise hotels. If you’re an outdoorsy person, you can hike around Manoa Falls and take in the panoramic views from the Diamond Head. If you’re a history geek, checking out the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Iolani Palace is a must.

Whether or not you’re open to trying out new tropical fruits, line-caught fish, and tiki cocktails, a trip to Honolulu promises to lift your spirits.

Read on to find out what spots can make your holiday unforgettable.

Things to do in Honolulu

Type of thing to do
Price level

Dive deep into the state’s history at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial

What’s special about this place?

Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a place for learning more about the infamous attack by the Japanese troops that resulted in the death of over 2,000 American service members and civilians. The USS Arizona Memorial located here at the memorial park serves as a reminder of the battleship that claimed the lives of 1,177 sailors and marines.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Every tourist traveling to Hawaii should include Pearl Harbor National Memorial in their to-visit list. It’s where you can pay respect to those who lost their lives fighting for their country. Kids can come too — there are several battleships and a submarine for them to roam around.

What to do here?

Allocate at least half a day to explore Pearl Harbor National Memorial if you’re also planning to stop by the Battleship Missouri Memorial. You can do it on your own or take a tour where a guide will restate the events that took place in December of 1941.

Best Time to Visit

Due to how popular this location is, expect to stand in long lines before you can access the memorial park. The lines are typically the longest between 9 AM and 12 PM. To skip the queues and avoid having to get a walk-up ticket (there’s only a limited number of them sold daily), reserve your ticket online.

Learn more about the Pearl Harbor National Memorial here!

Surf at the Waikiki Beach

What’s special about this place?

This bustling tourist destination was once a go-to place for the 19th-century Hawaiian royalty who’d come here to tan and surf. Today, the golden sands along with the crystal clear waters of the Pacific draw people from across the globe. The luxurious hotels and a wide variety of shops and restaurants make Waikiki Beach too good to not visit at least once in a lifetime.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Surfers and laid-back tourists will enjoy taking a trip to Waikiki Beach equally much. The high waves make for a perfect surf, whereas the hot sands and breathtaking views allow you to just lay down on your beach towel and forget about those work deadlines.

What to do here?

Get yourself a rainbow-colored shaved ice and hit the sands of Waikiki Beach before noon. Take a stroll through the shops and invest in a surfboard that’ll last you a long time. Test out the waves and fuel yourself after an intense surfing session at one of the seafood restaurants. Join a lei-making workshop and stay at the beach until the fireworks show begins.

Best Time to Visit

It’s best to take a trip to Waikiki Beach during the shoulder season when there are still things to do but the crowds aren’t nearly as big. So, plan to come here either between April and June or between late September and early December. You’ll also save on accommodation if you visit in the off-season.

Walk up the Diamond Head

What’s special about this place?

Called Le’ahi or Tuna Brow by Hawaiians, Diamond Head is a crater developed 300,000 years ago as a result of the volcanic eruption that threw the ash in the air. It then continued settling for thousands of years until the formation of the ridgeline that now acts as a highly recognizable element of the Oahu’s skyline.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Everyone looking for a scenic hiking trail in Oahu should check out the Diamond Head volcanic cone. It’s best suited for those who are somewhat fit as there are 0.8 miles of hiking up to the top. But the view of the Pacific Ocean and the Waikiki Beach is more than worth the climb.

What to do here?

Bring water and comfortable shoes before you commit to hiking the Diamond Head. It’s also common for hikers to wax their boots for easier trekking along the edge of the volcanic formation. Don’t forget to take a few pictures to commemorate the journey when you make your way to the very top.

Best Time to Visit

Just like with the majority of moderate-difficulty hikes that take more than an hour, it’s better to start early before the heat becomes unbearable. This way you’ll also avoid the crowds and have the opportunity to take in the views without too many people lining up to do the same thing.

Learn more about the Diamond Head here!

Play beach volleyball in the Ala Moana Beach Park

What’s special about this place?

Ala Moana Beach Park is a 100-acre park that’s conveniently located between Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu. It consists of a good number of trees that offer shade and space to have a picnic, play beach volleyball, and listen to the waves of the Pacific Ocean while relaxing on the half-mile-long gold-sand beach.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Couples on a romantic trip and families with children will enjoy spending a day exploring all that Ala Moana Beach Park has to offer. With 4 million yearly visitors, this place has become the top choice for everyone looking for a serene spot to soak up the sunshine without too many people around.

What to do here?

The big grassy areas along with plenty of palm trees and banyans make Ala Moana Beach Park a perfect place for having a BBQ and chilling in the shade. It’s also great for playing sports like volleyball and tennis. For more action, visit the Magic Island Beach next door where the majority of the cultural events take place.

Best Time to Visit

Open every day from 4 AM till 10 PM, the city park welcomes visitors rain or shine. As expected, it tends to get busy during the weekend and at around 5 PM on a regular day. The first half of the day is the least crowded, so keep this in mind when visiting with small children.

Learn more about the Ala Moana Beach Park here!

Treat yourself to a local delicacy Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery

What’s special about this place?

Leonard’s Bakery has been delighting its guests with original, Portugal-inspired creations known as Malasadas since 1952. Located in the not-so-glamorous part of Honolulu, it’s locals’ favorite for a pick-me-up snack that’s filled with delicious custard and covered with powdered sugar.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Having a custard-filled donut at Leonard’s Bakery is more than just a culinary treat — it’s a cultural experience. Kids and adults will be craving the sweet hole-less delicacy for a long time after they try it out at the place where it’s finessed to perfection. You might even want to bring some with you when you travel back home.

What to do here?

Take your pick and satisfy your sugar cravings with cinnamon sugar and Haupia (coconut)-filled Malasadas that are always served hot and fresh. You can also try their Pao Doce (sweet bread) and a Portuguese sausage wrap that’ll leave a mark on your taste buds forever. If you can’t make it to the bakery, there are Malasadamobile food trucks operating at Pearlridge, Waikele, Koko Marina, and Windward Shopping Centers.

Best Time to Visit

Leonard’s Bakery is open every day from 5:30 AM till 7 PM. This means that no matter when you’re in town, you’ll likely be able to get a hold of a few donuts for yourself and your family. It’s often busy, so expect there to be a 20-minute wait if you come at around 9 in the morning or 3 PM.

Learn more about Leonard’s Bakery here!

Take a stroll down the Kalakaua Boulevard

What’s special about this place?

This beachfront stretch is home to the largest shopping centers, tall palm trees, and sidewalks that are packed with cafes and restaurants. It’s also where locals party when the Hawaiian food festival Spam Jam takes place.  Kalakaua Boulevard is the main thoroughfare in Waikiki where the most popular tourist attractions are located.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Shopaholics, beach lovers, and everyone in between will have fun strolling down the Kalakaua Boulevard when in Waikiki. You can go on a shopping spree or check out the lively night scene that doesn’t cease to impress even the most seasoned party animals.

What to do here?

Whether you’re here in the daytime or after the sun has set, you’ll find plenty of things to do. If you’re after shopping, visit the Royal Hawaiian Center with luxurious stores like Cartier and Valentino. If you’re in the mood for an ice-cold beer, hit up the Maui Brewing Company. For calm waters and the view of the Diamond Head, head over to Kuhio Beach.

Best Time to Visit

It’s best to explore this part of the island during the summer when the majority of the shops and restaurants are open. That said, it’s bound to be crowded because of the inflow of tourists from all over. If you don’t mind skipping a few places at the Kalakaua Boulevard, consider visiting during the off-season.

Learn more about the Kalakaua Boulevard here!

Visit Iolani Palace

What’s special about this place?

Built by King Kalakaua in 1882, Iolani Palace is a four-story museum with 10 rooms that used to be the king’s official residence. It’s been since restored to serve as a cultural destination that helps visitors immerse themselves in Hawaii’s royal history. The palace is also recognized as a national historic landmark.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

History geeks and museum enthusiasts should mark Iolani Palace as a place worth visiting when in Hawaii. It used to be the only royal residence in the country, giving it a certain significance that can be observed through the memorabilia and artifacts presented in the museum.

What to do here?

Situated in downtown Honolulu, Iolani Palace stretches for several acres with its Italian Renaissance-style architecture that draws everyone in. Take the tour where you can listen to the audio recordings and admire the furniture and artifacts preserved from that era. Keep in mind that you’ll have to wear cloth booties to protect the wooden floors and steer clear from taking photos.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit Iolani Palace starting on Tuesday up until Saturday from 9 AM till 4 PM. It tends to get busy on Saturdays around 1 PM and stay crowded until the closing time. If you want to avoid crowds, come to explore the palace on a Tuesday.

Learn more about Iolani Palace here!

Hike Manoa Falls

What’s special about this place?

Manoa Falls, the lush rainforest with bamboo trees and a 150-foot waterfall, is just a short drive away from Waikiki. If the place looks familiar to you, it’s because Steven Spielberg used it as a filming location for ‘Jurassic Park’. It was also featured in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and is believed to be where the mystical Hawaiian warriors wander.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re looking for a picturesque location to go hiking, Manoa Falls is exactly that. The 45-minute hike isn’t taxing which makes it an ideal option for everyone including those who aren’t particularly fit. Newbies with zero prior hiking experience are also welcome to trek this trail.

What to do here?

Wear your most comfortable hiking shoes that are suitable for slippery and muddy surfaces when hiking Manoa Falls. Bring insect repellant and enough drinking water to get you through the hike, especially if you’re new to hiking. Don’t swim in the pool where the water cascades as it’s filled with sharp rocks and bacteria of all sorts.

Best Time to Visit

It’s better to hike Manoa Falls during the summer and fall months (from June until October). This is when the waterfalls aren’t dangerous as they are during the monsoon season from November to March. Arrive as early as possible and avoid hiking after 5 PM.

Learn more about Manoa Falls here!

Go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

What’s special about this place?

Hanauma Bay is a tropical paradise on Earth that’s located 30 minutes away from Honolulu. With over 3,000 people visiting it on a daily, the government decided to establish a Nature Preserve and Marine Education Center where visitors can get educated on the importance of preserving marine life.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Surfers and swimmers who appreciate crystal clear waters with just the right amount of waves will have to fit Hanauma Bay in their Hawaii travel itinerary. There are as many as 400 species of fish and other aquatic creatures to witness in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

What to do here?

Pack your snorkeling equipment and get ready to have some fun exploring Hanauma Bay. If you’re into diving or surfing, the sparkling turquoise waters are perfect for that too. Once you’re done with your water sports, feel free to relax on the beach while sipping a Pina Colada in a true Hawaiian fashion.

Best Time to Visit

Hanauma Bay is open to the public all week long apart from Mondays and Tuesdays. You can enter at any time between 6:45 AM and 1:30 PM. It’s a requirement for visitors to leave the premises before 4 PM since the beach typically closes at 3:30 PM.

Learn more about Hanauma Bay here!

Learn about Islamic art at the Shangri La Museum

What’s special about this place?

You’ll find former heiress Doris Duke’s home Shangri La sitting just outside of Honolulu. It took almost 60 years to fill the building with furniture and art from Morocco, Egypt, Spain, Syria, and Iran among other countries. Today, it serves as a museum where visitors can learn all about the global cultures of Islamic art and design through exhibitions and tours.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re an art lover — or someone interested in Islamic history — you should consider paying a visit to the mansion. It’s also worth stopping by if you’re curious about the life of the heiress who used to live here in the 20th century. There are over 4,000 objects at the museum at your disposal.

What to do here?

Walk around the mansion and admire the fuse of Egyptian, Iranian, and Syrian styles that are deeply embedded in every element of the house. From embroidery to paintings and furniture, you can feel the influence no matter what exhibit you happen to come across. Phoenix is one of those exhibitions completed on-site in 2018 that guests can access by making their way to the lily pond situated next to the Mughal Galleries.

Best Time to Visit

Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays, Shangri La Museum is open to visitors the rest of the week from 9 AM till 1:30 PM. The cost of the ticket includes van transportation and admission to the permanent exhibitions from the Honolulu Museum of Art. If you’re a Hawaii resident, you can get a discounted ticket.

Learn more about the Shangri La Museum here!

Pay your respects at the Battleship Missouri Memorial

What’s special about this place?

Known as a site where the Empire of Japan surrendered and the World War II ended, Battleship Missouri Memorial serves as a reminder of the last active battleship in the country. Before becoming a memorial, the ship was used in Operation Desert Storm and in the Korean War after then finally docking in Pearl Harbour.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

To learn more about the wars that took place in the 20th century, visit the Battleship Missouri when touring the Pearl Harbour. You’ll find some donations made by the former crew members that will give you a glimpse into the traumatic events as if you were present there and then too.

What to do here?

You can choose between a shorter tour where you’ll get an overview of the ship and a more in-depth tour where you can program an analog computer and light a boiler. If you’re bringing your kids, consider booking an overnight encampment. This interactive experience will allow them to step into the shoes of sailors and live like one for one night.

Best Time to Visit

Leave your personal belongings behind to avoid having to pay for storage and arrive when your booked tour is supposed to start. The site welcomes guests every day from 8 AM till 4 PM which means that you’ll get the chance to tour the facilities no matter when you’re in town.

Learn more about the Battleship Missouri Memorial here!

Look at wild life at the Honolulu Zoo

What’s special about this place?

This 42-acre zoo located in Queen Kapiʻolani Park in Honolulu houses over 1,230 animals. It’s not just your regular lions and monkeys you see in the zoos — here, komodo dragons, satsuki, corky, and poisonous tree frogs reside too. The zoo also offers educational events and seasonal camps to better immerse the guests into the environment.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Aimed at entertaining and teaching both parents and kids about the wildlife, Honolulu Zoo is the go-to family-oriented destination. There are history lessons to attend and wild worksheets to educate yourself on how to preserve the different animal species. Kids are guaranteed to enjoy the frog maze and ‘label the bee’ quizzes that make learning fun.

What to do here?

Apart from looking at the wild animals you wouldn’t see anywhere else, you can also attend seasonal camps and take interactive tours. The ‘Snooze at the Zoo’ tour lets you have a sleepover at the zoo and have a breakfast served too. The ‘Twilight’ tour takes place on Saturday evenings when everyone leaves and you get to witness animals get ready for sleep.

Best Time to Visit

The zoo is open every day from 10 AM till 3 PM. You can expect bigger crowds on the weekend when locals are off from work. It gets much less crowded during the working week which makes for a peaceful stroll with small kids.

Learn more about the Honolulu Zoo here!

Immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center

What’s special about this place?

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a theme park divided into 6 villages representing regions of the Polynesian islands including Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, and others. Each village offers different activities that are pertinent to that exact island. There’s also a Hukilau Marketplace to try some Hawaiian delicacies and a Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honoring Polynesia’s greatest players and coaches.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re curious about Polynesian heritage and would like to partake in some of the traditional events taking place on those islands, a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center is a must. Not only will you learn more about Hawaii and the rest of Oceania, but you’ll also make plenty of memories to recall when you’re back from your vacation.

What to do here?

Join the locals as they teach you how to paddle a canoe in the Tonga village and climb coconut trees with bare feet in the Samoa village. Play with poi balls and dance the night away in the Aotearoa village. Come back to the Hawaiian side where hula hooping and spear throwing are standard practice.

Best Time to Visit

The Polynesian Cultural Center is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. It’s open the rest of the week from 12:45 PM until 9 PM. Bring your friends who like getting acquainted with different cultures and make your way here before noon when all the fun begins.

Learn more about the Polynesian Cultural Center here!

Climb Koko Head Stairs for the panoramic views

What’s special about this place?

Koko Crater is a 1,208-tall volcanic pyramid that offers a unique hiking trail stretching 2 miles across it. It features over 1,000 steps all made from the abandoned railroad ties. They were built more than 60 years ago for the military to be able to bring supplies to the bunkers at the very top.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

This steep hike isn’t for the faint of the heart. Even though you don’t need to be exceptionally fit to climb up the Koko Head Stairs, you should be aware of the heights that open up in front of you as you make your way to the top. That said, if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views.

What to do here?

Wear your best hiking shoes and get plenty of water to last you a few hours. It’s also recommended that you wear sunscreen and prepare yourself mentally for a somewhat tiresome hike. You’ll only be able to rest your legs after the 900th step, so keep this in mind when choosing the best time to do the hike.

Best Time to Visit

If you’ve decided that you don’t fear heights and that the views at the top will be worth the climb, plan to come here on a dry day. Some parts of the trail can get slippery if they’re wet so it’s best to avoid rainy weather. You should also arrive early before it gets hot and crowded.

Learn more about the Koko Head Stairs here!

A Cold Beer at the Honolulu Beerworks

What’s special about this place?

Honolulu Beerworks is a microbrewery established in 2014 by the master brewer Geoff Seideman and his wife Charmayne. It’s conveniently located in the heart of Kaka’ako where locals and tourists alike like hanging out on the weekends. The interior consisting of recycled wood walls showcasing local artwork reflects the hip and rustic charm of the neighborhood perfectly well.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Having an ice-cold beer at Honolulu Beerworks after a long day at the beach is just what the doctor ordered. Even if you’re not a fan of beer, you’d still get a kick out of coming here and tasting the infused cocktails ranging from the bourbon-based Reverend Smash to the jalapeno-infused vodka drink Sweet Heat.

What to do here?

Pick a hot summer evening when you’re spending time at the Ala Moana Beach and drop by the Honolulu Beerworks for a refreshing beverage. Whether you’re a fan of Pale Ale or would rather go for a Cider, the extensive menu got you covered. You can also order some munchies or a leafy plate to go with your drink.

Best Time to Visit

The brewery is open every day of the week except for Mondays. It tends to get busy at around 7 PM when the working day is finished and everyone including locals can pop in for a glass of ice-cold beer. Happy hour at the Honolulu Beerworks is between 2 PM and 6 PM.

Learn more about the Honolulu Beerworks here!

Explore exhibits at the Bishop Museum and Planetarium

What’s special about this place?

Founded in 1889, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is a museum of history and science that houses some of the best Polynesian artifacts and art pieces. This Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History is the prime destination for learning more about the island’s past.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A visit to Hawaii isn’t complete without educating yourself on the rich heritage of the state’s many islands. Here you’ll find photographs, old documents, and other memorabilia that tell the story of the Pacific Islands in the smallest detail. Kids will be particularly interested in the on-site Watumull Planetarium.

What to do here?

Stroll through the museum and stop from time to time to reflect on the historical and cultural exhibits displayed here. Ranging from permanent exhibits like kahilis that features royal capes and helmets to artifacts from the South Pacific, there are plenty of objects with cultural significance that are worth checking out. Don’t forget to pop into the Planetarium that showcases the Hawaiian night sky and plays movies about Polynesian culture.

Best Time to Visit

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and Planetarium are open every day from 9 AM till 5 PM. It takes visitors about 3 hours to explore the exhibits they’re most interested in, so keep this in mind when choosing the right time to drop by. To avoid crowds, arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Learn more about the Bishop Museum and Planetarium here!

Check out the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

What’s special about this place?

Formerly known as a place for making human sacrifices, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is now a place for honoring those who served in the U.S. military. It stretches across the Punchbowl Crater where over 50,000 war veterans remain to peacefully rest. The site is well-kept which draws millions of visitors every year.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you want to pay homage to men and women who bravely fought in Korean War, Vietnam War, and both the First and Second World Wars, checking out the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a must. This is the place of quiet where you can get acquainted with fallen soldiers in a peaceful setting.

What to do here?

Take your time to walk through the cemetery and learn the names of the veterans imprinted on the walls. Some of the notable soldiers buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific include Stanley Dunham — Barack Obama’s grandfather — and Ernie Pyle who was a widely known correspondent during World War II. Visitors report that spending some time here makes you appreciate the peace the soldiers left us with.

Best Time to Visit

The memorial welcomes visitors every day of the week from 8 AM till 6 PM. You don’t have to pay an entrance fee which means that you can visit the site whenever you want. If you’re taking public transport, bus number 15 will take you there directly. Those arriving by car should use GPS to find the cemetery.

Learn more about the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific here!

Stop by the Halona Blow Hole

What’s special about this place?

Halona Blow Hole is a rock formation named after the Hawaiian version of the word ‘lookout’. The name is very fitting — apart from offering the view of the Pacific Ocean, the landmark is considered to be one of the most dangerous ones in the state of Hawaii. This is because the cliffs are constantly washed over with fierce currents thus putting divers into danger.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

This natural wonder is worth visiting no matter if you’re a nature enthusiast or a homebody who’d rather spend their time at home. Although kids shouldn’t necessarily be brought anywhere near the Halona Blow Hole, they can look at it from afar where it’s safe.

What to do here?

This non-touristy site presents a golden opportunity for everyone looking to explore the hidden spots of Hawaii. Just like in the movies and music videos where it’s shown, Halona Blow Hole is the kind of a gushing geyser you’ll remember gazing at for the rest of your life. Bring your camera and take some pictures here too.

Best Time to Visit

It’s recommended that you visit the Blow Hole in the summer when the tides are the strongest. This is when the hot wind pushes the water higher and makes for a more thrilling picture. If you visit in the winter, you’ll get to see humpback whales, sea turtles, and nesting birds too.

Learn more about the Halona Blow Hole here!

Go Swimming with Dolphins

What’s special about this place?

Located in The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Dolphin Quest Oahu is a tourist attraction that everyone traveling to Hawaii has on their list. The site offers several packages that allow you to get closer to the dolphins, feed them, snap a few shots with them, and even snorkel with them. It’s the only place in the city where you can encounter marine life this close.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re an animal lover, you must add Dolphin Quest Oahu to your Hawaiian bucket list. Not only do you get to interact with dolphins, but you also get to see how these mammals behave in their natural habitat. Kids love playing with dolphins too.

What to do here?

Decide whether you want to pet a dolphin and take a picture with one or also learn about dolphin training and care. There’s also a separate package aimed at young children under 4 that includes a variety of fun and educational out-of-water activities.

Best Time to Visit

This activity is available every day from 8:30 AM till 5 PM. It gets busy at the site on the weekends when the local kids are off from school. Mondays are the least crowded days which makes for a more chill encounter with dolphins.

Learn more about Swimming with Dolphins here!

Take photos at the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse

What’s special about this place?

Makapu’u Point is a popular hiking spot just twelve miles east of Honolulu. It’s situated on the beach and is considered to be the easternmost point on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The trail constitutes a part of the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline that offers views of Koko Head, Koko Crater, and the whole of Oahu coastline.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Couples love spending a few hours hiking the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail that rewards hikers with breathtaking views. It’s not a long hiking trail, which means that you don’t have to be particularly fit to choose to do it. The idyllic views at the top make it worth the climb, especially if you’re a photographer with a knack for taking panoramic photos.

What to do here?

Once you reach the top, you’ll see plenty of offshore islands sitting somewhere far in the distance. You’ll also spot the historic Lighthouse with an easily recognizable red roof that stands out against the deep blue waters that surround it. Take a few pictures to capture the moment and don’t forget to send them to your friends and family to make them jealous.

Best Time to Visit

As with every hike, it’s best to start early in the morning. Since this hike isn’t taxing, you won’t need much apart from sunscreen and a bottle of water. The weather is the most appropriate for hiking during the hot summer months. Late spring and early fall are great for the Makapu’u Point hike too.

Learn more about the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse here!

Visit Honolulu Museum of Art

What’s special about this place?

Honolulu Museum of Art was founded by Anna Rice Cooke in 1922. It’s merged with the Contemporary Museum in 2011 to become the museum of art it is today housing art collections from across the globe. The museum is widely known for storing the largest number of Asian and Pan-Pacific artworks in the country.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re an art enthusiast, visiting the Honolulu Museum of Art should be your top priority. You’ll get to relish in the hundreds of thousands of art collections and exhibits that will leave you pondering about the muses that were behind the art pieces.

What to do here?

Stroll through the museum and check out Hawaiian, Japanese, and European art displayed throughout the many rooms. There are countless works of the famed Picasso, van Gogh, Warhol, and Monet among others. If you have some more spare time, consider stopping by the on-site Doris Duke Theater that hosts regular concerts and the Robert Allerton Art Research Library.

Best Time to Visit

The museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. It’s open from 10 AM till 6 PM on Thursdays and from 10 AM till 9 PM Friday through Sunday. Afternoons at the Honolulu Museum of Art tend to be the busiest.

Learn more about the Honolulu Museum of Art here!

Take in the view of downtown Honolulu from the Tantalus Lookout Puu Ualakaa State Park

What’s special about this place?

The 1,408-feet tall hill at the Puu Ulakaa State Park is the number one place located in the Round Top Forest Reserve for gazing at the downtown Honolulu skyline. It also offers striking views of Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Manoa Valley, and Diamond Head.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Suitable for all skill levels, this trail is arguably the most family-friendly activity on the island. There are wildflowers you’ll come across during the hike which make for a great picture. You can also bring your dog with you, but make sure it’s kept on the leash at all times.

What to do here?

Both tourists and locals come to the Tantalus Lookout to watch the sunset or sunrise. It’s the perfect place for escaping when the noise of the city becomes too much. The hike to the top of the hill isn’t too long either — only 0.3 miles — which makes it a convenient location for visiting at the end of the day filled with sightseeing.

Best Time to Visit

Tantalus Lookout Puu Ulakaa State Park is open to the public 7 days a week. You can visit it from 7 AM up until 6:45 PM depending on whether you want to see the sunrise or catch the sunset. Keep in mind that the weekend is the most crowded time of the week at the park.

Learn more about the Tantalus Lookout Puu Ualakaa State Park here!

Sample Authentic Hawaiian Cuisine At Helena’s

What’s special about this place?

Helena’s Hawaiian Food restaurant specializes in local classics including Lomi salmon, kalua pork, and ribs among other meals. The place has been serving Hawaiian food since 1946 which gives it credibility as the go-to place for tasting some of the local delicacies. It’s now run by the founder’s grandson who’s turned the business into a family legacy.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Countless families have already visited the restaurant and become loyal customers. If you’re visiting Honolulu with your family, this is the place to add to your agenda. Here, you’ll be able to share not only food you’ve never tried before but also time with your loved ones.

What to do here?

Get an order of short ribs and a few sides like Luau squid, macaroni salad, and a scoop of rice. Alternatively, you can go for the Kalua Pig that’s cooked in the Imu oven or try the beef stew. For dessert, get a typical Hawaiian coconut-milk based Haupia that locals will be suggesting you try.

Best Time to Visit

Helena’s Hawaiian Food is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM till 7:30 PM. It gets busy at around 12 PM and at 5 PM. To avoid having to queue, arrive right when it opens or between 1 and 3 in the afternoon.

Learn more about Helena’s Hawaiian Food here!

Have a picnic at the Kapiʻolani Regional Park

What’s special about this place?

Located on the east end of Waikiki, Kapi’olani Regional Park is the second-oldest public park in Hawaii. It was named after Queen Kapi’olani from the queen consort of King David Kalakaua. Today, this 300-acre park serves as a go-to place for everyone to relax and have a picnic on a sunny day.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you’re trying to figure out what’s the best place in the city to play cricket and chill until the sun goes down, give Kapi’olani Regional Park a go. This triangular stretch of grassy land is home to plenty of outdoor concerts and shows. If you’re in Honolulu in the summer, don’t forget to drop by the park in your free time.

What to do here?

Not only can you have a picnic here, but you can also play tennis, soccer, and jog, too. You can also visit the 42-acre Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Shell where the majority of the city’s outdoor concerts and large gatherings are held. Note that there are free concerts every Sunday afternoon by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Best Time to Visit

Open every day from 5 AM till 12 AM, Kapi’olani Regional Park is always a good place to visit. It tends to get crowded on Saturdays and Sunday after 3 PM, so keep this in mind if you’re coming here with young children.

Learn more about Kapi’olani Regional Park here!

Go on a Jurassic Adventure Tour at the Kualoa Ranch

What’s special about this place?

Just about 30 minutes away from Honolulu, Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000-acre private nature reserve and working cattle ranch that also serves as a wedding venue. It’s where the television series Hawaii Five-O was filmed which might be partly the reason why it’s become a popular tourist destination.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Horse lovers, adrenaline junkies, and Jurassic Park fans will all enjoy spending their day at the Kualoa Ranch. There are plenty of activities every nature enthusiast will be able to indulge in including kayaking, ziplining, fishing, horsebackriding, and riding an ATV among other things.

What to do here?

Apart from ziplining through the trees and letting your kids run wild in the grass, you can also buy a deluxe 2.5-hour Jurassic Adventure tour. It will take you to the iconic film sites including the Indominus Rex paddock with its 60-foot walls and authentic dinosaur cages used in the movie.

Best Time to Visit

For a relaxed day at the Kualoa Ranch, arrive at any time from 8 AM till 5:30 PM. For the Jurassic Adventure tour, it’s best to get your ticket at least a month in advance as they tend to sell out quickly. The tours take place in the first half of the day.

Learn more about Kualoa Ranch here!

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Honolulu:

Is it safe in Honolulu?

The capital of Hawaii Honolulu was ranked as one of the safest cities in the country back in 2015. And although 6 years have passed since then, it still remains to be a relatively safe city with a crime rate of 3.3 (the average crime rate in the nation is 3.8). Waikiki Beach is the most touristic area in the region, so pickpocketing is the main issue here. The few other exceptions include Chinatown during the night and Diamond Head together with Halona Blow Hole prone to car theft and break-ins.

 

Is Honolulu worth visiting?

You don’t need more than a week to explore Honolulu and check the majority of the things off of your to-do list. There’s a reason why it’s the go-to destination for beach lovers and those who like spending time in nature days on end. The city’s favorable tropical climate, extensive beaches with white sand, and rich natural history make it a prime vacation spot worth checking out at least once in your life.

What should you not miss when visiting Honolulu?

Honolulu is home to the finest beaches, yummiest traditional dishes, and cultural treasures that bring in millions of tourists every year. With Waikiki being the number one spot for surfing and hiking, you should consider stopping by for a day or two. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and Manoa Falls should be on your travel itinerary too, especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. And, of course, you shouldn’t miss out on Pearl Harbor where you can learn all about the attack by the Japanese Navy in 1941.

What time zone is Honolulu?

All of Hawaii runs on Hawaiian standard time. There is only one time zone and there is no daylight savings time, primarily because of its latitude. So, anywhere in Hawaii–be it one of the six major ones like Oahu or Maui–the time will be 10 behind Greenwich Meridian Time. 10 hours behind London, in other words.

Go to Frontpage

close